This Design Squad Nation animation shows how Mesmer tubes work. Mesmer tubes use a high voltage electric current to hit Xenon gas molecules, knocking their electrons loose and creating various paths for the electric current to flow. When a gas carries an electric current, it becomes a plasma. The plasma in a Mesmer tube has so much energy that it produces light — like a lightning bolt! For more Design Squad Nation go to http://pbskids.org/designsquad

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How Things Work

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